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His lucrative board appointment in Ukraine has caused controversy

Hunter Biden, the son of former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden, owes more than $100,000 in federal taxes from a year during which he served on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, according to the Daily Caller.

Biden reportedly earned at least $50,000 per month while on the board of Burisma — a position he did not appear to have any qualifications for — but he was not apparently giving the U.S. government its fair share of his income. The Daily Caller’s Andrew Kerr reported:

The IRS placed a tax lien on Hunter Biden seeking $112,805 in unpaid taxes from 2015, according to records the Daily Caller News Foundation obtained.

The federal agency issued the previously unreported lien in November 2018 and it seeks unpaid taxes for a year in which Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, served on the boards of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings and the Chinese private equity firm BHR Partners.

Hunter Biden’s finances became the focus of media and political attention this summer after President Donald Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings and Joe Biden’s involvement.

President Trump’s concern about the Bidens in Ukraine is centered on whether Joe Biden, who was vice president at the time of Hunter’s Burisma appointment, used his power and influence as VP to protect Hunter and Burisma from investigative scrutiny.

More recently, Hunter Biden was revealed to be the father of a child in Arkansas, and the mother of the child is currently suing him for child support. Hunter has reportedly not been forthcoming with the details of his financial situation throughout the process.

Biden says he has been unemployed and without a monthly income since May. He stepped down from the Burisma board earlier this year after being named to the board in 2014.

Author: Aaron Colen

Source: The Blaze: Hunter Biden owes the IRS more than $100K from his time on the board of Burisma: report

Hypocrisy?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) recently defended the idea of “purity tests” in the Democratic Party, saying it’s justifiable to criticize candidates who take donations from wealthy people.

Problem is, Ocasio-Cortez herself received a financial boost from billionaire Tom Steyer, who was very active in funding political causes before deciding to run for president this year.

“For anyone who accuses us for instituting purity tests — it’s called having values,” Ocasio-Cortez said at a Sen. Bernie Sanders rally, according to the New York Post. “It’s called giving a damn. It’s called having standards for your conduct to not be funded by billionaires but to be funded by the people.

“I go into work all the time and I hear people say, ‘What will my donors think?’ I hear that phrase,” Ocasio-Cortez also said. “I hear and I see that billionaires get members of Congress on speed dial and waitresses don’t.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign received a $2,700 donation from Steyer through his family office, Fahr LLC.

While that’s not an overwhelming amount of money, it’s certainly many times larger than a donation a candidate might receive from a typical working voter in The Bronx or Queens, and it raises the question: How many donations can one accept from a billionaire before failing a purity test?

According to OpenSecrets.org, Ocasio-Cortez raised more than $2 million during her 2018 election campaign.

The issue of purity tests and wealthy donors has become a central issue in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has attacked South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg for hosting fundraisers attended by millionaires and billionaires.

Buttigieg has defended those fundraisers by pointing out that Warren herself is much wealthier than he is, and it has since been highlighted that Warren has her own history of courting wealthy donors, even though she says she no longer does so.

Author: Aaron Colen

Source: The Blaze: AOC criticized Democrats funded by billionaires — but she accepted a donation from billionaire Tom Steyer

OK for immigration, not for guns

After 75 counties preemptively declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries in anticipation of future gun control laws, Virginia Democrats have threatened law enforcement officials in those counties with potential prosecution, according to the Washington Examiner.

In Second Amendment sanctuary counties, similar to liberal illegal immigration sanctuary cities, law enforcement officials would avoid prosecuting people for violations of laws they don’t agree with. Virginia Democratic U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly told the Examiner that such a decision may carry serious consequences.

“I would hope they either resign in good conscience, because they cannot uphold the law which they are sworn to uphold, or they’re prosecuted for failure to fulfill their oath,” Connolly said. “The law is the law. If that becomes the law, you don’t have a choice, not if you’re a sworn officer of the law.”

One lawmaker said the governor should consider deploying the National Guard to enforce gun laws in sanctuary counties.

“They certainly risk funding, because if the sheriff’s department is not going to enforce the law, they’re going to lose money,” Virginia Democratic U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin said. “The counties’ attorneys offices are not going to have the money to prosecute because their prosecutions are going to go down. And ultimately, I’m not the governor, but the governor may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law. That’s his call, because I don’t know how serious these counties are and how severe the violations of law will be. But that’s obviously an option he has.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) seemed to contradict himself on the issue, saying there wouldn’t be retaliation for sanctuary counties, but there would be consequences.

“There’s not going to be retaliation. That’s not what I’m about. I’m about making Virginia safer,” Northam said. “If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books, then there are going to be consequences, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it.”

The threats and suggestions come after gun-rights advocates in the state won a minor victory, when Northam announced that any proposed ban on assault weapons would include a grandfather clause. Under such a clause, legal owners of banned guns could keep them, but would be required to register the weapons.

Author: Aaron Colen

Source: The Blaze: Virginia Dems threaten Second Amendment sanctuary counties with prosecution and National Guard enforcement

To help students with ‘busy schedules’ get abortions

A bill working its way through the New York state Legislature would require all public colleges and universities in the state to make abortion medication available to students — paid for with taxpayer funds, according to LifeSiteNews.

Assembly bill 8743 “Requires SUNY to offer abortion by medication techniques at all on-campus student health centers at colleges or universities within the SUNY system and creates a fund to help finance the implementation of offering such services at SUNY on-campus student health centers.”

The bill was authored by Democratic Assemblyman Harvey Epstein, who said his goal is to make abortion more accessible with students who may not have the time or ability to get to a clinic.

“College students’ often busy schedules, lack of transportation options, and low-incomes present barriers to accessing abortion healthcare,” Epstein wrote in justifying the bill. “Students who want to end an unintended pregnancy have to travel to off-campus providers, potentially missing classes and disrupting their studies.”

The bill would create the Public Colleges Student Health Center Abortion By Medication Fund, which would receive money both from taxpayers and private entities and citizens who choose to contribute.

“Monies within the public college student health center abortion by medication fund shall be made available to the commissioner of health for payment of any and all costs and expenditures incurred in performing any of the work required in making abortion by medication techniques available at public college student health centers within the state,” the bill says.

Critics of the bill say that it creates potentially dangerous situations for women on college campuses who might take the pill without proper medical supervision, and it’s also not the best way to support students dealing with unplanned pregnancies.

“What it doesn’t help finance are campus child care centers, any kind of desperately needed prenatal care,” said Michele Sterlace-Accorsi, executive director of Feminists Choosing Life of New York. “These are the impediments that interfere with women’s ability to carry unplanned pregnancies to term, to choose life for their children and also have a career.”

Author: Aaron Colen

Source: The Blaze: New York bill would require taxpayer-funded medical abortions be available to all students at public colleges

ABC identified the leaker and notified CBS

CBS News has fired the former ABC News employee who allegedly leaked a video that showed ABC News anchor Amy Robach venting her frustrations about the network refusing to run her story about Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex crimes, journalist Yashar Ali reported Thursday.

The video, which was released Tuesday by Project Veritas, showed Robach (who appeared to believe she was not being recorded) expressing her displeasure that the Epstein story was receiving huge coverage in August, even though she had the story three years ago and ABC News wouldn’t run it.

ABC News reportedly identified the source of the leak Wednesday, determining that it was a former employee who had gone on to work at CBS News.

“Two sources familiar with the matter tell me that CBS News has fired the staffer in question,” Ali wrote on Twitter. “This comes after ABC informed CBS that they had determined who accessed the footage of Amy Robach expressing her frustrations about the Epstein story.”

Robach, in the video, exposed the damaging information that ABC News would not run an interview with one of Epstein’s alleged victims because her allegations against people such as Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew could jeopardize the network’s access to influential people.

“We were so afraid we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate and Will that we — that also quashed the story,” Robach said in the interview. “And then Alan Dershowitz was also implicated in it because of the planes. She told me everything. She had pictures, she had everything.”

Robach quickly issued a statement saying the video showed her in a “private moment of frustration” and that ABC News didn’t stop her from pursuing the story. The network issued a statement saying that the interview didn’t meet editorial standards because of a lack of corroborating evidence for the allegations.

Author: Aaron Colen

Source: The Blaze: Report: Former ABC News employee who leaked video about Epstein story being suppressed has been fired by CBS

‘We would not put it on the air’

ABC News anchor Amy Robach said she and her network had the story about Jeffrey Epstein and the extent of his pedophilia ring years ago — but the network refused to run the story for fear of upsetting some powerful people.

Robach is seen and heard making the comments in a video released by Project Veritas, which shows her talking on a hot mic on an ABC News set in August about how frustrating it was for her to see the Epstein story blow up when she had all the information three years before.

“It was unbelievable what we had,” Robach said. “Clinton, we had everything. I tried for three years to get it on to no avail. And now it’s all coming out and it’s like these new revelations, and I freaking had all of it.”

Robach said she had an interview with alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts, which included allegations and details about the involvement of Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Alan Dershowitz. She was told that viewers wouldn’t be interested because they wouldn’t know who Epstein was.

“I’ve had the story for three years,” Robach said. “I’ve had this interview with Virginia Roberts, we would not put it on the air. First of all, I was told ‘Who’s Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.'”

Robach said the British royal family threatened the network to pressure them not to run the interview because of the allegations against Prince Andrew and that the network was worried about losing access, so it complied.

“We were so afraid we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate and Will that we — that also quashed the story,” Robach said. “And then Alan Dershowitz was also implicated in it because of the planes. She told me everything. She had pictures, she had everything.”

Watch Robach’s frustrated rant below:

Both Robach and ABC News issued statements in response to the leaked video. Robach said the interview didn’t meet ABC News’ editorial standards and that the network never told her to stop pursuing the story.

“As a journalist, as the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration,” Robach said in her statement. “I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn’t air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards.”

ABC News also said it didn’t stop Robach from pursuing the story, and claimed the network has been working on a documentary and podcast on Epstein that will come out next year.

Author: Aaron Colen

Source: The Blaze: Frustrated ABC News anchor caught on hot mic saying network suppressed Epstein story for years

He said the Chinese are extremely secretive about the Biden issue

Michael Pillsbury, an informal adviser to the White House on China, told the Financial Times that he received “quite a bit of background” information from his contacts in the country related to Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and a $1.5 billion payment from the Bank of China.

Pillsbury would not fully divulge the details of the information he received, but did say he found the Chinese to be extremely secretive and guarded about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China.

“I tried to bring up the topic in Beijing,” Pillsbury told Fox Business last week. “I’ve never seen them get so secretive in my entire life. They would discuss ICBM warheads sooner than talk about what Hunter Biden was doing in China with Vice President Biden.”

While we don’t know what exactly Pillsbury allegedly learned from his Chinese contacts, the $1.5 billion amount referenced is the same as the amount President Donald Trump claimed Hunter Biden received from the Bank of China, although that claim was not backed up with evidence.

Pillsbury would not say whether he was asked by President Trump to ask about the Bidens in China. He later denied that he told FT he received info on the Bidens, but the reporter, Demetri Sevastopulo, shared an email confirming the report.

Biden has dismissed all accusations of wrongdoing in China and in Ukraine as “flat-out lies, debunked conspiracy theories and smears” that the president is using to “undermine my candidacy for the presidency.”

President Trump and his allies have been working to highlight alleged conflicts of interest and corruption by Joe and Hunter Biden in Ukraine, where Hunter was paid $50,000 per month as a board member for the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma. Trump allies have also claimed that Biden’s corruption extends past Ukraine to other countries, including China and Romania.

Author: Aaron Colen

Source: The Blaze: White House adviser says he got info from China on Hunter Biden and a $1.5 billion payment from the Bank of China

Seemed like a fair offer

Congressional Democrats, even before the Mueller report was released, have expressed outrage that portions of the report would be redacted by special counsel Robert Mueller and Attorney General William Barr. When the report was released, however, they turned down a chance to see more of the report than the general public, according to The Hill.

Barr offered certain congressional leaders the chance to view some of the redacted portions of the report pertaining to ongoing investigations and national security issues. Democrats rejected his offer.

Here’s what they said, in a letter authored by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Democratic leaders in the congressional judiciary and intelligence committees:

“Unfortunately, your proposed accommodation — which among other things would prohibit discussion of the full report, even with other Committee Members — is not acceptable,” the letter to Barr read. “Given the comprehensive factual findings presented by the Special Counsel’s Report, some of which will only be fully understood with access to the redacted material, we cannot agree to the conditions you are placing on our access to the full report. Nor can we agree to an arrangement that does not include a mechanism for ensuring access to grand jury material.”

The Democrats reportedly rejected Barr’s offer because they wanted more people to be allowed to view the sensitive material, and they wanted access to everything, including grand jury material.

House Republicans criticized the Democrats for their rejection of Barr’s terms.

“Democrats demand answers but put their hands over their eyes every time those answers appear,” read a House Judiciary Committee Republicans statement. “Attorney General Barr has given unprecedented accommodations to Chairman Nadler, and it’s unconscionable the chairman refuses receipt of information he’s claimed for weeks Democrats are ‘entitled to.’ Who subpoenas a report and publicly refuses to read it in the same day?”

Author: Aaron Colen

Source: Theblaze: AG Barr gave Dems a chance to see some redacted portions of Mueller’s report. They said no.

She says he tried to obstruct justice

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) became the first Democratic presidential candidate to call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment in the wake of the release of the Mueller report, according to CNN.

Dealing with the reality that special counsel Robert Mueller did not find cause to charge the president with any crimes, some Democrats are now hoping to use Mueller’s findings to gain some momentum toward impeachment.

“The Mueller report lays out facts showing that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help Donald Trump and Donald Trump welcomed that help,” Warren wrote on Twitter. “Once elected, Donald Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack. Mueller put the next step in the hands of Congress: ‘Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.’ The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment.”

A Warren aide cautioned that the senator did not want impeaching Pres. Trump to become the focus of her presidential campaign, according to CNN. The aide said Warren still wants to focus on her policy proposals.

This current Democratic talking point that Pres. Trump “tried” to obstruct justice is a notable pivot from previous accusations that the president had committed treason or was an agent of the Russian government.

There have long been some impeachment advocates in the House of Representatives, but some representatives shied away from impeachment due to the unlikelihood that a Republican-controlled Senate would vote to convict a Republican president. After the Mueller report, however, some are changing their minds about that.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been against impeachment, citing the political uphill battle an impeachment effort would face. Some believe Democrats would be better served allowing the American people to take the information from the Mueller investigation and make their voices heard in the 2020 election.

But, with a high-profile presidential candidate like Warren coming out in favor of impeachment, peer pressure could lead more prominent Democrats to follow her lead.

Author: Aaron Colen

Source: Theblaze: Elizabeth Warren joins other Democrats calling for Pres. Trump’s impeachment

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